Elderly afraid to open door to canvassers

Mayor Martin Brett with Cllr Sean O hArgain, Mairead Phelan, Lindsey Butler, Robert McMunn, Lisa Bourke and Anne McLoughlin pictured at at the Kilkenny Age Friendly Meet the Candidates Session in the Ormonde Hotel last Wednesday morning. Photo: Pat Moore.
Politicians canvassing in parts of rural Kilkenny say that elderly people are afraid to answer their own front door to them, such is the fear and isolation they now feel.

Politicians canvassing in parts of rural Kilkenny say that elderly people are afraid to answer their own front door to them, such is the fear and isolation they now feel.

An event organised by the Kilkenny Older People’s Forum last week, at which a number of local elections candidates spoke. The lack of public transport, the closure of Garda stations, and threats to services such as post offices have compounded the sense of abandonment.

John Burke, who is running as an independent candidate in Piltown said that people in his area were afraid. He said there were originally three post offices, but two of them are now gone. The Garda station has also been closed.

“In Piltown, there are 2,900 voters and no Garda barracks,” he said.

“It’s a sin. People are frightened.”

He said there were 86 people living on their own in rural areas. They were in constant fear of being robbed, and at one house of an elderly man, he was met by a locked gate and an alsatian. We lost our barracks in Piltown he said.

Another independent candidate, Ger Ferris, who is running in the Castlecomer area, described a similar situation.

“They often won’t open the door to us when we are canvassing because they are afraid,” he said.

“That shouldn’t be the way it is in modern Ireland.”

He said that the cut to the telephone allowances.